New York: A Parade of Nearly 10,000 Falun Dafa Practitioners Amazes Manhattan
Nearly 10,000 Falun Dafa practitioners from dozens of countries walked through Manhattan on May 16, 2019, to celebrate the 27th anniversary of Falun Dafa’s first introduction to the public and the 20th World Falun Dafa Day.
The parade started at United Nations Plaza at 47th Street and Second Avenue, wound through Times Square, and ended near the Chinese consulate on 12th Avenue, spanning 2 miles.
“Falun Dafa Is Good,” “Stop the Persecution of Falun Dafa,” and “Supporting 303 Million Chinese People Who Quit the Chinese Communist Party” were the three main themes of the parade.
Falun Dafa Is Good
The Tian Guo Marching Band lead the parade’s first section “Falun Dafa Is Good.” Following the band was a huge replica of Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Dafa; the Falun emblem; a Dragon Dance team; a big flower boat; practitioners demonstrating the Falun Dafa exercises; and banners in multiple languages, representing the countries throughout the world where Falun Dafa is practiced. Then came practitioners of different nationalities wearing their traditional dress.
Stop the Persecution of Falun Dafa
In the second section, “Stop the Persecution of Falun Dafa” practitioners held photos of Falun Dafa practitioners who have lost their lives as a result of being persecuted in China. The line-up called for an end to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting and to bring Jiang Zemin, the former leader and chief perpetrator of the persecution, to justice.
Third Parade Section – Quitting the CCP
The third section—“Supporting 303 Million Chinese People Quitting the CCP”—was led by the second Tian Guo Marching Band, followed by the Dragon Dance and Lion Dance teams, a model of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, and banners with the titles of the Nine Commentaries, a flower boat, and banners exposing the CCP’s crimes.
People Show Great Interest in the Eye-Catching Parade
The resounding music of the Tian Guo Marching Bands, the beautiful traditional clothing of different nationalities, exquisitely decorated flower boats, brightly-colored flags and banners, and peaceful Falun Dafa exercise demonstrations attracted office workers throughout the entire route. They expressed their support, praised the beauty of the parade, inquired and asked for detailed information, and expressed interest in learning Falun Dafa. Some Chinese people announced their withdrawal from the CCP and its youth organizations.
Rob is a property manager in charge of three buildings. He said the parade was absolutely wonderful. He commented on the warm, sunny weather, saying, “It’s like the sky is opening up to smile for this event today.”
He said that people like him who were born in the United States and spent their whole life in this country have a difficult time understanding that people in China are being brutally persecuted. “I truly hope that I can help the practitioners,” he said. “I also hope that more people can help bring an end to the persecution.”
Christopher Leonard, who works in the “Grace” building, was delighted to see such a wonderful group of people demonstrating the beauty of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. He was touched to see so many practitioners upholding their faith and spreading their message in such a beautiful and lively form.
He asked for extra fliers for his colleagues. He said they would be interested in learning Falun Dafa to help them improve in their work and in their personal relationships.
Tim Popal, a police officer, was impressed with the Falun Dafa practitioners celebrating their belief. “I’ve seen many parades protesting this and that,” he said, “but the Falun Dafa parade is the best and most peaceful one I have ever seen.”
He thanked them for bringing joy and smiles to the city. He said he would go back and learn more about Falun Dafa and tell his colleagues and friends what he had learned.
Clara Pinchbeck works in a downtown law firm. Seeing the parade made her day. “Truly remarkable!” she said. “I heard the band’s music from upstairs – it was powerful. I ran downstairs with my colleague, and we are very excited to be able to see such a grand parade.”
Some practitioners told her about Falun Dafa and she said she wanted to learn it, because “it looks so beautiful and peaceful.”
Jane was a social worker before she retired, and her husband Bill was a software engineer. They watched almost the entire parade. Jane said it was exhilarating, the first time that they’d ever such a magnificent parade. She was glad that so many people participated in it. “We will remember Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance,” she said. “Everyone in this world needs these values.”
Bill said they noticed a message that the CCP is doomed, and they agreed. He said, “We believe that the Chinese can manage themselves quite well because they have thousands of years of traditional culture behind them.
“Falun Dafa is reviving traditional Chinese culture, but we are sad to learn that it is being persecuted.” The couple said they hoped that the persecution would end quickly.
Yoke from Europe is a yoga teacher. She said the parade was beautiful and made her feel peaceful.
“The principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance—I believe everyone should live by these special words. What I saw today is of such beauty and brings peace, I have no idea why the persecution of Falun Dafa has happened in China.” She said that it is important for people to learn the facts and work together to end the persecution.
Julia Mateo said that she appreciated Falun Dafa practitioners who firmly stand up to safeguard their belief. She hoped that everyone would do something to help Falun Dafa, because everyone should do something for others and other countries to ensure that we ourselves can live in a peaceful world in the future.
Hearing about the persecution, Ms. Mateo was surprised and sad and said it was unfair and inconceivable. “I’m sad for those who have had their organs harvested when they were still alive,” she said. “I hope such evil can be stopped. I’ll tell doctors and nurses in my hospital not to let their patients go to China for organ transplants.”
Asia Kastit, an air stewardess, said that the practitioners looked happy and were bringing beauty and joy to New York. “I welcome and appreciate Falun Dafa practitioners. It’s a beautiful, peaceful, and joyous parade. They have truly displayed the beauty of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.”
Neeras Bir, a software development engineer from Philadelphia, said that he has bought Zhuan Falun and was ready to practice Falun Dafa. He said that Falun Dafa practitioners bring positive energy, peace, and compassion to New York and unconditionally and publicly share it with different nationalities and countries.
“I will tell all my friends about the CCP’s persecution of Falun Dafa. Twenty years of persecution has been too long and should be stopped immediately,” he said.